A Test of Structural Invariance of Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Female Survivors of Sexual and/or Physical Abuse or Assault

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Recent studies on the factor structure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms tend to support one of two four-factor structures; however, little research has examined the structural invariance of PTSD structure across trauma groups. Five previously tested models of PTSD structure were compared in a large sample (N = 2,378) of female undergraduates who are survivors of sexual and/or physical abuse or assault, using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Questionnaire (PTSD-Q). The four-factor model of PTSD that included correlated factors of reexperiencing, avoidance, dysphoria, and hyper-arousal exhibited the best fit for the data and was structurally invariant across the five abuse groups. Support for the four-factor dysphoria model may have important implications for revisions of the current PTSD diagnosis.

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